The New York drug possession laws have separate laws for controlled-substance and marijuana-related offenses however; the nature of the offenses are defined the same. In order to convict a person for possession of a controlled substance or marijuana, the prosecutors need to prove to the court that:
- The substance was a controlled substance;
- The defendant possessed the substance;
- His or her possession was knowing; and
- The possession was unlawful
If a person is charged with a class A-1 felony i.e. possess 8 or more ounces of substances containing a narcotic drug or 5,760 milligrams of methadone, then he/she may be sentenced for 8 to 20 years imprisonment or a fine of $100,000. If a person is convicted of class B to class E felonies then the sentences vary from a minimum of one year to a maximum of 1.5 to 9 years or fines ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 for class B and class C felonies.
New York Marijuana Laws
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance in New York. Schedule I substance means that it has a high potential for abuse and has no generally recognized medical value. The basic provisions of New York marijuana laws are given in the table below:
|Act||Amount of Marijuana||Penalty|
|Possession||Up to 25 grams||Civil violation that incurs fines but no jail time|
|25 grams to 2 ounces||Up to three months in jail and/or $500 fine|
|2 to 8 ounces||Up to one year in jail and/or $1,000 fine|
|8 to 16 ounces||1-4 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)|
|16 ounces to 10 pounds||1-7 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)|
|10 pounds or more||1-15 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine (mandatory prison time for second offenses)|
|Selling||Up to two ounces without payment||Up to three months in jail and/or up to $500 fine|
|Cultivating or selling up to 24 grams||Up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine|
|25 grams to four ounces||1-4 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine|
|4 to 16 ounces||1-7 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 fine|
|16 ounces or more||1-15 years in prison and/or up $5,000 fine|
|Selling any amount to a minor||1-7 years in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine.|
According to the legislative history of New York, the drug laws are very complex. Once convicted, half a dozen different classes of felonies can be laid out for drug possession alone. Hence, it is extremely necessary to consult an experienced New York drug crime attorney if you are charged with a drug offense.
New York Heroin Laws
Both federal and state law and New York’s laws consider heroin and other narcotics illegal and any act related to the possession, sale and trafficking of heroin are quite harsh. The basic provisions of New York heroin laws are given in the table below:
|Act||Amount of Heroin||Type of Felony|
Knowingly possessing any amount is a Class A misdemeanor
|Over 500 mg||Class D|
|Over 1/8 oz.||Class C|
|Over 1/2 oz.||Class B|
|Over 4 oz.||Class A-II|
|Over 8 oz.||Class A-I|
|Any amount of a controlled substance with the intent to sell||Class D|
|Any amount of narcotic drug with intent to sell||Class B|
Knowingly selling any amount is a Class D felony, but the severity of felony can increase
|Over 1/2 oz.||Class A-II|
|Over 2 oz.||Class A-I|
|On school grounds or sale to someone under 21||Class B|
If a person is convicted of any criminal charges in New York related to the possession, use or sale of heroin, then he/she can face a wide range of criminal charges. Reach out to an experienced advocate who can understand all the elements of the charges against a person.
New York Cocaine Laws
In 1973, New York State law passed the toughest drug laws of its kind in all the United States, known as the “Rockefeller Drug Laws”. The penalty for selling two ounces (57 g) or more of heroin, morphine, opium, cocaine, or cannabis (or possessing four ounces (113 g) or more of the same substances), was at least 15 years to a maximum of 25 years of prison time. However, these laws were revised in 2009 and removed the mandatory minimum sentences. This change allowed convicted individuals of drug offenses to a proper treatment or to short sentences.
The basic provisions of New York cocaine laws are listed in the table below:
|Act||Amount of Cocaine||Type of Felony|
|Possession||Knowingly possess 500 milligrams or more||Class D|
|Sale||To possess with the intent to sell any amount of a narcotic drug and/or one gram or more of a stimulant||Class B|
Possession of cocaine in New York can result in severe penalties, especially if you have been charged with possession with the intent to sell it. Hire an experienced attorney who can understand all the elements of the charges against a person.
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